These elite soldiers were similar to The Janissary, in that they too were "slave soldiers". Taken while very young from the regions of Greece, Albania and other Slavic Nations - they were specifically raised to be the warrior-class of Medieval Egypt. Coming into being during the 9th Century, they were allowed to hold office and own slaves. They were expert archers and cavalrymen. They lived together in a "Spartan Agoge" lifestyle like many other slave soldier units. They worshiped their Sultan as a God. They had no greater mission than to lay down their lives for him. Mamluks served as Royal Household Guards (often when they were not deployed). They fought through most of The Seventh Crusades. However, repeated invasions by The Ottoman Empire in the 14h/15th Centuries would eventually begin to deplete their resources and recruitment abilities. Now under "new" Masters, The Ottoman's did not exploit the Mameluk's abilities. They ceased to be an effective fighting force.